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The Most Common Sprinkler Head Problems in Your Denver Lawn Irrigation System

May 25, 2016

As a Denver homeowner, you are most likely getting ready for warm weather. In the process of getting your lawn sprinkler system back up and running and ready for summer, you may have come across some sprinkler head issues that weren't present last fall. At Water Solutions Sprinkler Service, we are here to support you in whatever way you need to get your system up and running, repaired, or even renovated, if necessary.

To make sure your watering system is ready to go and functioning properly for summer, we want to offer some information about the top problems you may see with the sprinkler heads themselves. If you follow these tips and your sprinkler heads are still malfunctioning, we are ready to take your call and help you out.


Clogged heads are easy to identify; water will be interrupted, uneven, nonexistent, or even just pooling around the head. Clogged sprinkler heads are probably the most common problem with irrigation systems.

Make sure to turn off your irrigation system before removing the sprinkler head! The fact that sprinklers spray pressurized water doesn't mean that the sprinkler head is automatically self-cleaning. Fortunately, it's easy to clean them. Use a piece of stiff wire (a paper clip will do) to clear the hole. For a thoroughly dirty head, lift it from the sleeve, unscrew it, soak it, and clean by flushing with running water.

Too High
This is the most common reason for broken sprinkler heads. When sprinkler heads sit too high above the ground, they're vulnerable to damage. Remedy this by lowering the heads. Cut about a foot square around the head with a shovel and carefully remove the sod. Use a hand trowel to dig carefully around the head, removing soil. Move slowly and don't use too much pressure or you could cut through the water pipe. Dig deep enough so that the top of the sprinkler head sits only half an inch above ground. Once you have the head lowered, carefully pack the dirt tightly back around it and replace the topsoil.

You'll know when a valve is stuck because your sprinklers will continue running after they're supposed to shut off. Most likely a chunk of debris or small rock is blocking one of the valves. Unscrew the solenoid (a cap structure, usually on the right side of the valve), let some water run through, then screw it back on. In the event that the problem isn’t solved that easily, you may need to turn off the water and use a screwdriver to remove the valve top and manually scrape out the blockage.

These tips haven't solved your problems? No worries. At Water Solutions Services, we are your go-to Denver sprinkler system experts. We can tune up your system, fix any problems, and you can rest assured that we always have an interest in delivering our best to you. We offer free estimates for stress-free sprinkler maintenance in Denver. Call us today at (720) 435-1495 for your free estimate.